Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic gave the following speech to launch National Science Week at Parliament House on Thursday 4 August.
I first start by acknowledging we’re on Ngunnawal land and pay respects to elders past and present. Also, I want to acknowledge that back home I represent people where we live on the land of the Darug and in their welcome Waramai.
To Mark [Hutchison, President of Science & Technology Australia] and everyone. Welcome.
When our offices were talking, the Deputy Prime Minister and myself, [our presence here had] been characterised as a drive by. I didn’t know if that was the vibe we were going for, but I didn’t think he would – in terms of the Deputy Prime Minister, I didn’t think it would be quick – because [of] his commitment [to science]. And the reason I asked him up is because I think there is something that we can all do, which is for the people who have a deep interest [in science to] always be involved.
And on that basis too, I wanted to acknowledge that there are a number of members from across the political spectrum that are here today. Obviously, I want to recognise Paul Fletcher as the shadow minister, but if I may also recognise Melissa Price. Melissa, I just want to pay respect to your service in the role previously. I think political difference has a place, but I think where we join to work together, particularly in this endeavour, it is good that we are able to join up and work as one in the national interests because we’ve got a big job to do, as the Deputy Prime Minister indicated.
So, to you and your colleagues, and particularly to my colleagues here – many are here today, I see local members of Parliament, I see people from other parts of the country. I think Patrick Gorman was here. Dave Smith is here. I’m now starting on a very slippery slope when I mention one colleague and no one else. I see Senator Pocock there in the corner. I haven’t forgotten you, my friend.
Someone who does champion science and the advance of human knowledge and, importantly, its application to the betterment of people, Dr Mike Freelander, standing in the back there, always modest, but I will drag you out into the spotlight, my friend, so it’s good to have you here. I also am very happy to acknowledge the presence of Professor Graham Durant. We have already welcomed and thanked him for what he’s done at Questacon for nearly two decades.
Who says science isn’t a crowd puller? Look at this. A lot of people here.